A tube pan (Angel food cake pan) is round cookware made of metal, silicone, or glass with a cone-shaped, hollowed center. The point of this shape is baking the cake center evenly. You can use this dish to make many ring-shaped cakes.
Depending on your preferences, you can purchase a single-piece pan or two-piece model with a removable tube and bottom. That is a highly convenient feature that prevents your cake from getting stuck. Let’s see what is a tube pan and all the advantages this excellent cookware can offer.
What Is a Tube Pan?
A tube pan is a practical cookware with a removable round or rectangular bottom and smooth sides. Since this is a large dish, you can use it to make any sizeable soft cake, but traditionally, cooks use it for baking angel food cake.
Except for this recipe, you can use your dish to make many other light delicate cakes, such as sponge cakes and chiffon. As a rule, these cakes are mostly made of whipped egg whites without much flour and additives.
Since they don’t have a sturdy gluten structure, a tube allows raising the dough by clinking it to the sides while baking. This particular design allows the undisturbed expansion of airy batter. Without that cone, the too soft cake will collapse in the center.
Always take care that the center cone is as tall as the pan’s sides, which will prevent your batter from expanding through the center. Be gentle with this type of cakes once you bake it since it is delicate.
Tube Pan Options
You can find numerous tube pans on the market. They can feature sloped, straight, or even decoratively fluted sides. Most of them are made of metal, but you can find glass, silicone, aluminum, and non-stick pans, as well. Believe it or not, you can even find a disposable model made of greaseproof corrugated paper.
Additionally, their width, depth, weight, capacity, density, and color can vary wildly. Like I have already mentioned, you can find these pans with a removable bottom, like in the springform pan. Regardless of all the different options, one thing is constant. All of the tube pans contain a hollow cone in the middle.
You should choose a two-piece pan when deciding to bake foam-type cakes. On the other hand, you need to use a solid, one-piece pan for baking bread and thinner batter cakes.
Some models have prongs on the top, which extend upward. It is a useful addition that allows you to leave the baked cake in the pan. Turn the pan on the prongs to cool a bit before removing it. Their purpose is to hold the cake up and provide airflow, which will accelerate cooling.
You can also pick out the pan with a tube taller than the pan itself. That way, you can let it stand upside down, leaning on a cone, while the cake cools.
How to Use a Tube Pan for Baking
As I have already mentioned, the tube pan is the best option for baking an Angel food cake. The ring-shaped cake you get from this cookware will be highly attractive and decorative.
The principle that is based on transferring the heat to the cake center for faster cooking is always the same. However, the way of using your tube pan can vary depending on the recipe you use.
Make a cake
When you make an Angel food cake, you should ensure that the center cone is placed inside the pan. It is not crucial for some other cake recipes.
For baking all cakes, except the Angel food cake, you should sprinkle the inside of your pan with flour or cooking spray. There is also an option to use Baker’s Joy, which has already contained a mix of cooking spray and flour.
If you have a two-piece tube pan, you should wrap the exterior pan bottom with aluminum foil. Take care that it reaches at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) up the pan’s outside sides. That way, you will prevent any leaking while baking.
Then, prepare the cake batter and place it into your pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C) and bake it for 50 to 60 minutes. The best solution is to check if the cake is finished by inserting a thin knife into the cake.
Once the knife comes out clean, you can take the cake out of the oven. Let it cool in the pan for at least 10 to 15 minutes before turning it on a serving plate.
The procedure for cooling the Angel food cake is a bit different. Once you take the pan out of the oven, you should turn it upside down and place a bottle through the cone center. That prevents this delicate cake from falling while cooling.
Since the pan is not sprayed before baking, the cake won’t fall out. To loosen it, you should pull the knife along the edge and the center cone. Your cake will fall out along with the pan bottom. Remove it gently and serve the cake.
Why Is Tube Pan Useful?
The tube pan will help egg-foam cakes in a few ways:
The sides – Thanks to the tall sides, this pan will provide a supportive surface for clinging the batter while baking. That way, your cake will become tall. Keep in mind that it is possible because you will make it without previous greasing the pan surface.
The tube – The cone in the pan’s center provides a higher temperature in the middle of the cake. That way, the cake center will undisturbedly rise at the same rate as the rest parts.
The hole – Once you take the cake out of the oven, you should place a bottle in a hole placed in the middle of the pan to accelerate cooling.
Additional features – Most contemporary tube pans have additional features, such as handles, removable bottoms, and feet. They will help you to take the cake out of the pan effortlessly.
The Difference between Tube Pan and Bundt Pan
Both tube and Bundt pans have the central cones that provide the additional circulation of the heat while baking cakes. The difference is in the type of batter you prepare in these dishes.
Difference in Use
Keep in mind that your success or failure in baking will depend on the pan you have chosen. That means you can’t use a tube and Bundt pan alternately for all the cakes you prepare.
It is designed for baking light and fluffy batter that expands and puffs up like the Angel food cakes. You can also use this particular pan to make a dense and moist pound cake. In the end, you will get a flat-shaped cake coated with a greasy film but without any patterns.
Thanks to this pan’s pattern, you can use it for baking a dense, highly fat batter. You can find models made of aluminum, ceramic, and cast iron. The pan sides with flutes and ridges provide a large surface area, which results in the unique look of the cake being baked in it.
Plus, the cake with egg yolks and high in butterfat will batter caramelize in these waves. If you try to make such a cake in a flat or tube pan, it will look unattractively greasy.
Avoid baking the low-fat cakes in this pan because you can’t get the desired change of the flavor in the ridge areas.
When you want to buy a Bundt pan, you should pick out a non-stick model with a light-colored interior. Black and dark gray ones conduct heat better, which may result in a burnt cake if you are not fully concentrated.
Difference in Sizes
The sizes of both Bundt and tube pan are categorized depending on the volume they hold.
The most common sizes and appropriate volume of the tube pan:
- The size of 6 by 3 inches (15 x 7.6 cm) corresponds to 4 cups
- The size of 9 by 3 inches (23 x 7.6 cm) corresponds to 10 cups
- The size of 10 by 4 inches (25.5 x 10 cm) corresponds to 16 cups
When you have a recipe that mentions dimension instead volume, you should measure your pan across the top.
The most common sizes and appropriate volume of the Bundt pan:
- The size of 6.5 by 3.5 inches (16.5 x 8.9 cm) corresponds to 5.5 cups
- The size of 7.5 by 3 inches (19 x 7.6 cm) corresponds to 6 cups
- The size of 8.5 by 3.5 inches (21.5 x 8.9 cm) corresponds to 7 cups
- The size of 9 by 3 inches (23 x 7.6 cm) corresponds to 9 cups
- The size of 10 by 3.5 inches (25.5 x 8.9 cm) corresponds to 12 cups
- The size of the classic Nordic Ware shape of 9 by 4 inches (23 x 10 cm) corresponds to 15 cups
Nowadays, you can find over 100 different types of tube pans on the market. They vary in material, shapes, sizes, and the appearance of the bottoms and sides. The model that fits you best will depend on your preferences and the cakes you bake mostly.